It’s with happiness that we offer the deepest of thanks to those of you who were able to join us on the 18th! Thanks to the generosity of the Edward and Josephine Wikiera Foundation, The documentary film A Place to Stand was received well by our capacity crowd in the Galeria, offered in celebration of 25 years of freedom for Poland, and in solidarity with the people of free Ukraine. The film served to remind us all of how, in the same way that old oppressive systems tragically ran rampant through our world, new forms of oppression still today pose a looming threat over our modern freedoms.
I am proud to say that our gathering was yet another example of the role played by The Polish Mission, in cooperation with the Polish Diplomatic Corps, to bring modern issues to the attention of our community, and to encourage proactive work to better the future.
Using interviews with key figures, and never-before-released information, A Place to Stand artfully presented the story of the democratic transformations of Europe, the realization of which, was brought by the people of Poland. All were moved by the striking similarities of the European push for freedom, and the current ongoing tragedy in Ukraine. Following the film, our guests were treated to a slice of cake in honor of the 25th anniversary of the first free elections in Poland, and mingled about the celebrated Solidarnosc: Freedom Fighters exhibition, displayed in the Galeria through the efforts of Wayne State University and our good friend and colleague, Mike Smith. We at the Polish Mission would like to offer the most special thanks to the following individuals for their attendance and support: Director Anna Ferens, Vice Consul of the Republic of Poland Konrad Zielinski, President of the Ukrainian American Archives and Museum Zwenyslava Hayda, Chancellor-Rector Msgr. Tom Machalski, and Chancellor Emeritus Msgr. Stanley Milweski. This event was offered in support of those who stand with free Ukraine, and it was wonderful to see that so many Poles, many of whom have experienced firsthand the terrible effects if tyrannical dictatorship, found a “place to stand” with free Ukraine, at our own Galeria.
Special thanks to Ray Lei of St. Mary’s Preparatory for initiating discussion after the film, about the situation in China! Representing our student body, his outspokenness is to be commended, and I consider this precisely the type of initiative we strive to promote. Congratulations Ray! And thanks to the AVI team for the delicious sweets!
In closing, it’s a comforting thought to recall that we Poles had the tremendous support of Blessed (soon the be Saint) John Paul II, who was the prime mover of the topple of communism in Poland. Rightfully considered a hero of our modern era, Blessed John Paul II took dangerous action to right the wrongs of his time. Now, it’s up to all of us, Americans and Poles, to follow in his steps to do all we can to uphold his legacy and lead by example in bold celebration of our righteous values.
Check out photos here!